Farragut shop grows from ‘pop-up’
Valerie Guess of Farragut has opened a showroom, which fronts the warehouse for her business, Val’s Boutique, to give Farragut residents a place to stop in and shop.
The showroom and warehouse, 11110 Kingston Pike in Aspen Square shopping center, opened in March but “we just started opening for customers [Sept. 2],” Guess said.
The boutique carries on-trend women’s clothing and accessories.
“We have stuff for all ages,” she said. “My 3-year-old [daughter] wears my jewelry from here, and my 92-year-old grandmother wears stuff from here all the time.
“We have a very classic look, so we like for people to, say, take something and wear it five different ways and have something they can not spend a fortune on but still be able to wear it for a while,” Guess said. “It’s so basic and classic you can wear it over and over again.”
This year marks the 10th year Val’s Boutique has been operating. It started as pop-up shops before it grew into a brick-and-mortar boutique.
“[Pop-up shops] have become a trend over the last three years,” she said. “A pop-up shop is where you literally just pop up [with]what you’ve got and sell it to whomever can come. I’ve done it from people’s homes, and I had two stores in Nashville that I did it in. It’s just more of a short-term sale than an actual brick-and-mortar storefront … you’re just kind of popping up and leaving.”
She operated Val’s Boutique out of her car for four years then opened the Knoxville store six years ago. Her husband, J.P. Guess, came on board two years ago.
Before starting her own business, Guess, a Farragut High School Class of 1999 graduate, started in medical sales after graduating from college in 2003 and continued in medical sales for about six years.
“While I was doing medical sales, working full time, I did [pop-up shops and home parties] at night and on the weekends,” she said. “That was all in
Guess and her husband were “living a rock away from each other” in Farragut and graduated from FHS but they did not get together until they each lived in Nashville, she said.
“When we met and married, we decided to open a store,” Guess added. “We were deciding between Nashville and Knoxville and we chose Knoxville just to come home.”
She opened that store at 7309 Kingston Pike, near West Town Mall, April 2, 2011.
Guess later opened a second Val’s Boutique at 707 N. Campbell Station Road while J.P., who was in the U.S. Army Reserves, was deployed.
“We did [the Campbell Station store] for a year,” Guess said. “I did not like having a second location. It was just too much, so I changed it to a children’s shop, Weiss Baby.”
She subsequently sold the Weiss Baby business in December 2013 and the new owner moved the store to Franklin Square in Knoxville.
After completing his service in the Reserves, J.P. joined his wife in running Val’s Boutique.
“We were doing everything out of our house,” Guess said.
However, the Guesses outgrew the space. They built an addition but after a year, they also outgrew that addition, so they looked for more space.
“We wanted to have it in Farragut because that’s where we’re from, and it kind of gives us both ends of Knoxville — by the mall and over here,” Guess said. “We wanted a space that had a little bit of a front area for a showroom so that we would give Farragut customers the chance to shop out here, but we didn’t want to be open as a second location.
“We settled on being open Tuesdays and Fridays, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., or by appointment,” she added. “And also when I’m here — we’re here all the time so we put the ‘open’ sign on — [customers] can walk in.”
Guess said the showroom gives Farragut residents a sneak peak of what will be sold in the Knoxville store.
For more information or to book an appointment, call or text to 865-776-9405.